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"Bad Judge," "A to Z," "Gracepoint" Premiere Thursday Night


NBCUniversal(NEW YORK) -- Here's a schedule of Thursday night's TV premieres, with brief descriptions of new series. All times Eastern:

NBC

  • Bad Judge, 9 p.m. -- Kate Walsh plays a tough and wild Los Angeles judge. Will Ferrell is one of the executive producers of the comedy.
  • A to Z, 9:30 p.m. -- The romantic comedy chronicles the quirky romance of Andrew and Zelda, played by Mad Men's Ben Feldman and How I Met Your Mother's Cristin Milioti.

Fox

  • Gracepoint, 9 p.m. -- Based on the British drama Broadchurch, the 10-episode "mystery event" revolves around the murder of a young boy in a small town. Doctor Who's David Tennant and Breaking Bad's Anna Gunn star.

The CW

  • The Vampire Diaries, 8 p.m.
  • Reign, 9 p.m.

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Movie Review: “Gone Girl” (Rated R)


Fox(NEW YORK) -- Based on the best-selling novel of the same name and adapted for the big screen by the novel’s author, Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike as Nick and Amy Dunne, a fantastic-looking couple who met and fell for each other in New York City.  Nick, as Amy writes in her diaries, was the man of her dreams. Both were writers, in fact, until life dealt them a few hard blows.
 
Now they’re in Nick’s hometown of North Carthage, Missouri, where he owns a downtown bar tended by his twin sister, Margo (scene-stealer Carrie Coon). Nick’s nightmare begins when he gets a phone call and races home from the bar, only to find the cat wandering outside and his wife, gone.  He calls the cops and we have the pleasure of meeting Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) and Officer Jim Gilpin (Patrick Fugit). Boney, armed with a smart pantsuit and cup of coffee, has some questions for Nick.
 
In the meantime, we’re treated to flashbacks to various parts of Nick and Amy’s relationship, accompanied by Amy’s diaries entries. At first, they paint a picture of a couple very much in love, but the relationship devolves -- suggesting, along with many other clues, that Nick may have been behind Amy’s disappearance.
 
Once the media gets hold of the story, there’s a tidal wave of negative public opinion against Nick. In the meantime, we get to meet several of Amy’s ex-boyfriends, including the erudite and filthy rich Desi, played by Neil Patrick Harris.  Also in a strong supporting role is Tyler Perry, who finally makes
us forget about Madea in a confident, hilarious turn as a Johnnie Cochran-type defense lawyer.
 
Gone Girl studio Fox asked critics and journalists not give too much away, because there are quite a few surprises. If you read the book, you pretty much know what those surprises are going to be – but not all of them!
 
Gone Girl defies expectations. Even at its weakest moments, this movie sucks you in like a black hole. None of the characters need to brood: director David Fincher’s muted tones and slithering pace broods for them. Affleck delivers what’s easily his best performance, while Pike should become a household name, and Coon and Dickens will likely see their stars rise as well.
 
Four-and-a-half out of five stars.

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Adam Sandler Signs 4-Film Deal With Netflix


ABC/Randy Holmes(NEW YORK) -- Adam Sandler is headed to Netflix.

The comedy actor will star and produce in four feature films exclusively for the streaming service, Netflix announced -- bypassing the traditional movie distribution process.

“People love Adam’s films on Netflix and often watch them again and again. His appeal spans across viewers of all ages -- everybody has a favorite movie, everyone has a favorite line -- not just in the U.S. but all over the world,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said in a news release announcing the deal.

Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions will work alongside Netflix on the four films, according to the statement.

Sandler, 48, is known for comedies such as Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison, The Wedding Singer and Grown Ups. More serious efforts include Punch-Drunk Love and Reign Over Me. Sandler’s films have earned more than $2 billion at the box office.

His latest release, Blended, co-starring Drew Barrymore, was panned by critics and struggled in its opening over Memorial Day weekend. But, according to Box Office Mojo, it’s taken in more than $125 million worldwide against an estimated budget of $40 million.

Earlier this week, Netflix announced its first movie release, a sequel to the 2000 hit Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon set for August 2015 that will also appear in Imax theaters. Netflix has also made a mark in original television with series such as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black.

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Court Fight Builds over Virtual Marilyn Monroe


Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A California company is fighting to reanimate the original blond bombshell, Marilyn Monroe, similarly to other deceased celebrities such as Elvis Presley, Tupac Shakur and Michael Jackson.

The icon has been dead for 52 years, but a court fight continues to brew over the use of her likeness. At stake is who gets to cash in when technology resurrects a superstar.

According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, a lawsuit was filed Wednesday against The estate of Marilyn Monroe by Virtual Marilyn LLC. In the lawsuit, Virtual Marilyn LLC alleges that it holds copyright registrations encompassing "audiovisual work and character artwork depicting a computer-generated virtual actress adopting the persona of Marilyn Monroe."

The lawsuit alleges that Monroe’s heirs are getting in the way of the computer-generated character.

"Marilyn Monroe’s estate claims that this is a violation of Marilyn’s rights even though she has passed away, but the people behind the Virtual Marilyn character believe they are well within their rights to have an impersonator virtually impersonating her,” said Matthew Belloni, executive editor of The Hollywood Reporter.

Terri D. Paolo, attorney for The Marilyn Monroe Estate, told ABC News that the estate does not comment on litigation matters.

This isn’t the first time that Monroe’s estate has challenged a possible CG performance, with a similar situation emerging in 2012 over talks of concerts featuring a “Virtual Marilyn.”

Monroe’s estate earns an estimated $30 million annually in licensing fees.

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Hold the Ice: Latest Celebrity Awareness Hashtag Is Nuts


Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Move over, ice water buckets: a new viral campaign has male celebrities grabbing their packages to raise awareness for testicular cancer. Both to get the word out about the disease -- and possibly remedy any remedial "shrinkage" from all those ALS Ice Bucket challenges -- famous folks like Hugh Jackman and Ricky Gervais were among the first stars to take part in #FeelingNuts.

The X-Men series star and apparently some gym buddies posed on his Instagram account, with Jackman writing, in part, "...#feelingnuts raising awareness for testicular cancer. Nominating @ActuallyNPH [Neil Patrick Harris] @michaelstrahan @rickygervais." Jackman also posted a dramatic video, captioning it with, "#feelingnuts in slomo! Raising awareness for testicular cancer. #youknowwhoyouare."

Gervais was game, with a picture that featured him flipping off the camera, punk rock style; he in turn nominated William Shatner and Will Arnett, saying to the latter, "You might need bigger hands. Am I right?" Arnett posted his own picture back to The Office co-creator, saying, "no..all good."

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Alyssa Milano Leaving ABC's "Mistresses"


ABC/RICHARD CARTWRIGHT(LOS ANGELES) -- Though the ABC series Mistresses has been picked up for a third season, star Alyssa Milano will not be a part of it.

Milano has announced on her website that she is leaving the soapy drama. She explained that production is being moved from Los Angeles to Vancouver, Canada, for financial reasons.

She continues, "It’s with a heavy heart that I have decided that I can’t relocate. I have two babies under 4. Being a mother and wife comes first and I just can not [sic] uproot my children and separate the family by moving away."

Milano and her husband, David Bugliari, welcomed their second child, Elizabella Dylan Bugliari, last month.

Milano further wrote on her website that she'll "desperately" miss working on the show.

ABC announced earlier this week that it has renewed Mistresses. The show will return next summer.

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"Real Housewives" Shake Up: Bethenny Frankel Reportedly Back, Porsha Williams Out


Charles Sykes/Bravo(NEW YORK) -- There's shake up in the casts of Bravo's Real Housewives franchise.

In New York, Bethenny Frankel is set to rejoin the cast of Real Housewives of New York City, US Weekly reports. The former talk show host is coming back to the series after leaving four years ago.

US says producers hope Frankel's return will help improve ratings, which fell to one million viewers last season from a record 2.6 million in season six.

"Bringing her back is a last-ditch effort," a source told the magazine.

Meanwhile, the trailer for season seven of Real Housewives of Atlanta was released Tuesday and fans can expect a lot of changes when the season premieres Nov. 9.

One, is that Porsha Williams has been downgraded from full time castmember to a recurring castmember. She confirmed the change on Instagram, saying, "No more peach for me, but I still love checking in with my girls" #Blessed #SomethingMajor #JustHereToSlay #TeamPorsha."

Fans can also expect the additions of castmembers Claudia Jordan and Demetria McKinney. In the trailer, we see Jordan already bumping heads with several people, including Williams, as Jordan cozied up to Williams' ex-husband, Kordell Stewart, even exchanging phone numbers.

Also in the trailer, fans get a sneak peek of the drama, including the continued deterioration of Nene Leakes and Cynthia Bailey's friendship. "[The] friend contract is dead," Bailey said in the preview.

The trailer also shows that after their happily ever after, Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker's mothers still can't along.

Still, the big gasp in the trailer comes when Phaedra Parks' husband, Apollo Nida accuses her of cheating with an "African man named Chocolate." Afterward, we see Nida -- who is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence for fraud -- storm into the house that he shares with his wife. "Stop f***ing playing with me Phaedra! You took everything from me!" he yells at her. In the next scene, police are seen entering the house.

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Is Leonardo DiCaprio Hollywood's Newest Most Eligible Bachelor?


ABC/Lou Rocco(NEW YORK) -- Now that George Clooney is married, the title of Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor is up for grabs. Fortunately, there are a number of Hollywood hunks ready to take Clooney’s place.

Clooney’s basketball buddy Leonardo DiCaprio seems most likely to follow in the elder actor’s footsteps. At 39, DiCaprio doesn’t appear to be eager to settle down anytime soon.

Over the past two decades, the Wolf of Wall Street actor has swapped one supermodel for another and, occasionally, thrown a gorgeous actress into the rotation as well. He’s been with model Toni Garrn since May 2013.

Like Clooney, the actor has taken an interest in world affairs. His environmental work was recently honored with a Clinton Global Citizen Award and he was named a U.N. Messenger of Peace.

Perhaps it will take someone like Clooney’s bride Amal Alamuddin to finally take DiCpario off the market.

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Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis Welcome Baby Girl


Photo by Noel Vasquez/GC Images(NEW YORK) -- Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis reportedly are new parents.

TMZ is reporting Kunis gave birth to a baby girl Tuesday night at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles. People magazine has confirmed the birth, with its source saying the child is healthy.

No word yet on the name of the little bundle of joy.

Kutcher posted a handful of items on Facebook and Twitter Wednesday, but didn't deliver any baby news.

This is the first child for Kutcher, 36, and Kunis, 31, who got engaged in February. It was reported the following month that Kunis was pregnant.

The couple went public with their relationship in 2011, the same year Kutcher separated from his now ex-wife, Demi Moore.

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"Angry Birds" Movie Cast Announced


Rovio(NEW YORK) -- The cast of the Angry Birds movie was announced on Wednesday, with a little bit of a Saturday Night Live feel, as former stars Jason Sudeikis, Maya Rudolph and Bill Hader will be in the film, alongside Frozen's Josh Gad and Game of Thrones fan-favorite Peter Dinklage.

The animated 3-D film is scheduled for release in July 2016. The cast also includes comic actors like Danny McBride, Saturday Night Live's Kate McKinnon, Keegan-Michael Key of Key and Peele, and Arrested Development's Tony Hale.

The film's producer John Cohen called the cast "some of the funniest people out there today."

The cast announcement -- and a sneak peek look at the characters -- was made available to users of the mobile app who fired off one million birds by Wednesday.

Pointing to the millions of users who continue to play the mobile game that the film will be based on, Dwight Caines, president of Theatrical Marketing for Sony Pictures, discussed the way the announcement was made: "We wanted to bring this unlock to the fans first...we know these fans can't wait to see how they're going to bring the Angry Birds' story to life on the big screen of movie theaters."

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How George Clooney Changed Amal Alamuddin for the Better


Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/GC Images(NEW YORK) --  Amal Alamuddin's close friend, Jae Kim, said George Clooney, 53, was not the only one who changed for the better when he met his future wife -- he changed her, as well.

Kim, Alamuddin's friend since law school, gave a toast at the couple's wedding in Italy over the weekend and said before Clooney, "[Amal] was looking for Mr. Perfect, and he was nowhere to be found," People magazine reported.

Kim said last year, she and Alamuddin, 36, had a talk about life and that, "[We] stayed up talking late into the night about relationships and whether she would ever meet her partner in life....The list of things she was looking for in this man, she readily admitted, could not realistically be found in one person."

While Kim said there were concerns about Clooney's past as a Hollywood bachelor, he immediately changed Alamuddin in such great ways that their romance became a "fairy tale."

She quit smoking and "ever since she met George, she has been on time," Kim said.

But happiness was the change that Kim noticed the most, including that fact that Alamuddin's been wearing a "smile now for almost a year straight."

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How Jordin Sparks Is Coping with Her Split from Jason Derulo


Taylor Hill/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- It's an exciting time for Jordin Sparks: her latest movie, Left Behind, arrives in theaters on Friday, and she's preparing to release her first new music in five years.

Having to deal with the fallout from her breakup with Jason Derulo at the same time has been challenging, but as the star tells ABC News Radio, she's getting through, thanks to support from what she calls the three "Fs": Her family, her faith and her fans.

"I'm actually doing great considering all the craziness," says Sparks. "So it's been good...all I can do is smile, you know? It's life. Things happen and, you know, you move on and you get better and you grow from it."

"Right now, actually, I'm definitely leaning a lot on my family," she adds. "They have been so instrumental in all the craziness in my career thus far, so, whenever something goes crazy, or something unexpected happens, I'm like, 'Hey, mom, can you come out to California?'"

In addition, Sparks says, "My brother has been checking up on me every day, multiple times a day. He's so sweet. And I definitely rely on my faith. You know, I have the hope that there is a plan for my life and that there are better and more amazing things happening and that I'm just gonna come out of this stronger."

While Derulo has given several interviews telling his side of the story, so to speak, and has even issued a statement about the break-up, the one-time American Idol champ says she feels no need to put in her two cents.

"You know, when you answer things that haven't even been said yet, it kind of just, kinda makes people go, 'Well, wait a minute, I didn't even think about that,'" she explains. "So, for me I'm just like. ...you know, there's not really anything for me to say."

Thanks to all the support she's getting from her fans, Sparks doesn't really feel any pressure to discuss what happened, either.

"I've always had that support from them and I definitely feel it now," she tells ABC News Radio. "You know, they're just like, 'Hey, we're here for you. Don't worry. We're so excited for your music.' And I just can't wait to give that to them."

"I think that'll be my gift to them, in a way. You know, 'Thank you so much for sticking by me these past five years and' -- well, past eight years really -- 'thank you so much for, you know, sticking by me when times get tough!'" she added.

The music Sparks is releasing will be her first official material since her album Battlefield came out in 2009, and she says she can't wait to show people how she's changed as an artist.

"I want to be able to introduce people to the newer, more grown-up me. It's been five years...I'll be 25 in December, you know, it's a big growth spurt!" she explains. "So, I'm like, 'I don't want to scare them but at the same time, maybe that would be good!' But I want my other fans to know that it's still me. So, we're really trying to figure out that point, but we definitely have the goal of having music out this year. So it's coming!"

Meanwhile, catch Sparks in Left Behind, a new thriller that also stars Nicolas Cage, when it opens on Friday.

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Jimmy Kimmel Named McAfee's 'Most Dangerous Cyber Celebrity'


ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) -- On ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! Tuesday night, Jimmy Kimmel confirmed that he has been named by the virus fighters at McAfee the Internet's "Most Dangerous Cyber Celebrity," a badge he wears with honor.

"They say that if you search my name...there's a one in five chance you'll land on a malicious website," Kimmel explained.

Number two on the list is a DJ named Armin van Buuren.

"Britney Spears is number 7. Usually it's a woman on top of the list. The only other male celebrity to wind up number one was Brad Pitt in 2008 -- so it's just one more thing Brad Pitt and I have in common," Kimmel quipped. "The price of being sexy, I guess."

"Most consumers are completely unaware of the security risks that exist when searching for celebrity and entertainment news, images and videos online, sacrificing safety for immediacy," said McAfee's Gary Davis.

"Cybercriminals capitalize on consumers' attention to breaking celebrity news and leverage this behavior to lead them to unsafe sites that can severely infect their computers and devices and steal personal data," Davis added.

Kimmel had another take, implying "every girl" who wouldn't go to the prom with him might now be regretting their decisions. "Who would have guessed that a boy used to carry a briefcase to junior high and played the clarinet end up being the most dangerous person?" he asked.

Other celebrities in the top 50 include Jimmy Fallon (No. 12), Adam Sandler (No. 14), Jason Segel (No. 19), Cameron Diaz (No. 41), Kate Winslet (No. 18), Jennifer Lopez (No. 31), Jessica Biel (No. 33), Jennifer Aniston (No.37), Jennifer Garner (No.38), and Cameron Diaz (No.41).

Here's McAfee's top 10 Most Dangerous Cyber Celebrities of 2014:

  1. Jimmy Kimmel - 19.38% chance of downloading a virus.
  2. Armin van Buuren - 19.33%
  3. Ciara - 19.31%
  4. Flo Rida - 18.89%
  5. Bruce Springsteen - 18.82%
  6. Blake Shelton - 18.47%
  7. Britney Spears - 18.19%
  8. Jon Bon Jovi - 17.64%
  9. Chelsea Handler - 17.22%
  10. Christina Aguilera - 16.67%

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George Clooney Sold Wedding Pictures for Charity


Robino Salvatore/GC Images(NEW YORK) -- George Clooney auctioned off his wedding pictures to the highest bidders, but that money will go to a great cause.

The winners were People magazine in the North American market and the British tabloid, Hello, in Europe. Sources familiar with the sale tell TMZ the decision came down to which publication would pony up the most money.

The sources say the money will be going to several human rights charities, with the lion's share earmarked for the Satellite Sentinel Project. It’s a charity that monitors the movements of militant gangs in the Sudan in order to warn civilians. Clooney is a co-founder of the group, which launched in 2010.

"Every photo in both magazines will be saving a life," one of the sources close to Clooney tells the gossip website.

Clooney, 53, married lawyer Amal Alamuddin, 36, over the weekend.

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Ed Sullivan Statue Stolen from Television Academy


CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A statue of TV pioneer Ed Sullivan was stolen Sunday from the Academy of Television Arts & Science headquarters in North Hollywood, police said.

The solid bronze statue, weighing around 20 pounds and standing about two feet tall, was stolen from its pedestal in the Academy's Hall of Fame Plaza, according to police.

The statue was part of an outdoor exhibit featuring several other classic television personalities. 

Sullivan hosted a variety show on CBS from 1948 to 1971. The Ed Sullivan Show originated from the Manhattan theater that David Letterman's Late Show has called home since 1993. Sullivan died in 1974.

Police are investigating the theft.

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